Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spurs beat Warriors 111-94, now beaten Warrors 10 straight times

The Warriors loss to the Spurs on the second game of a back to back was not a surprise. The Spurs have historically dominated the Warriors over the past decade and have arguably the best team in the league right now. Despite the clear disparity in talent between these two teams, the Warriors deserve credit for competing hard and not giving in mentally. If you watch enough basketball (or any sport), you have seen a game where a superior team not only beats a team, but demoralizes them. The Warriors, although they lost, did not allow themselves to be demoralized.

Reggie Williams, who played 35 minutes due to Stephen Curry's re-injury of that vulnerable right ankle, scored a game high 31 points and connected on 8-10 from three point range. The elevated play of Williams kept the Warriors within shouting distance through the game, but the Warriors dug too deep of a hole with a slough of turnovers which led to a lay-up parade by San Antonio. The turnovers stood out as the biggest difference maker in this game, as the W's committed 22 to the Spurs 11. It wasn't simply turnovers, but points converted off those turnovers that allowed the Spurs to build their initial lead.

This recent stretch of games has been frustrating, but let's be realistic. The Warriors are missing a lot pieces, especially if we expect them to compete with the top four Western Conference teams. When I say missing pieces I don't refer to the ongoing injury issue with this club, but they lack the roster depth to keep up with Western Conference playoff caliber teams. The Warriors starters are pretty good, but still far from elite. They don't really have a back to the basket big guy, although Lee is very good around the rim. They don't have a solid small forward option to supplement some of Dorell Wright's minutes. (40 minutes is too much for Dorell at this point in his career) Most of all, the Warriors don't have a point guard to come off the bench to spell Curry. (Lin is a warm body and Bell is an expiring contract).

The Warriors do have Monta Ellis, who's scoring can cure many ills. They have Steph Curry, who's ankle trouble has limited him this season, still has a bright future and should return to form once that ankle heals. They also have an energetic mix of front court players in Biedrins, Lee, Amundson, and Udoh. Throw in D-Lee, D-Wright and Reggie, the Warriors have some nice pieces.
For now, this is what we have with the Warriors. Like last season, it's a work in progress. Unlike last season, they are moving more in the right direction. It seems likely the front office will make a move around the trade deadline, especially if the Warriors have an outside shot at that eighth seed in the West. That's the only reason Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric are here.

I'd like to see Larry Riley acquire sufficient help to spell Curry before he hurts his ankle any more. This team needs him later down the road when the stakes are high, not a building year. Let him rest for two weeks.

Warriors starters are logging too many minutes and it showed tonight in Monta's jump shot. He shot 7-24 from the field.

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